An 11-month-long investigation by federal and local law enforcement has resulted in more than 100 arrests and disrupted a notorious white supremacist gang operation responsible for terrorizing people in four states and the California prison system.
The gang, known as the “Fresnecks,” is accused of working with incarcerated members of the Aryan Brotherhood to commit violent crimes and kidnappings, as well as trafficking illegal drugs and firearms in multiple California cities, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation, dubbed “Operation Lucky Charm” because of the shamrock symbol often associated with the Aryan Brotherhood, has resulted in the arrest of 102 individuals tied to the gangs.
Last Thursday, 39 search warrants executed by multiple state and federal last enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of more than 60 people across California, Montana, and Nevada who allegedly have ties to the Brotherhood or the Fresnecks, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. At least five of those people were already in the California prison system and have since been transferred to federal custody, according to U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott.
In law enforcement operations Thursday, authorities also seized a total of 47 firearms, nearly 90 pounds of meth, nearly six pounds of heroin, and $136,000 in cash, according to the Fresno Sheriff’s Office.
The two gangs had allegedly been operating a multi-state operation to smuggle drugs and cell phones into prisons around the country, according to the sheriff’s office. Using the cellphones, gang members both in and out of prison were allegedly able to communicate and organize a number of illicit operations, including assassinations, as well as gun and drug trafficking. Authorities say the Fresnecks and the Brotherhood also had ties to fraud, robberies and murders in other states, including Alabama, Missouri, Idaho, and Montana.
Last Thursday’s multi-state sweep was not the first time the Fresnecks were targeted by law enforcement. Two years ago, 37 members of the gang were arrested for a number of violent offenses including assault, robbery, and sex crimes, according to The Fresno Bee.
The Department of Justice said that because of the ongoing investigation, at least 11 acts of violence planned by the network of white supremacists have been halted since January.
Hate crimes have been on the rise in the U.S. There were 51 hate-crime-related murders reported in 2019 compared to 24 in 2018, according to the FBI.